Can American Girl Dolls Get Wet Or Go In Water/Pool?


Wondering if your American Girl dolls can go in the water or take a dip in the pool? Questions like these remind me of how I spent my recent trip to the beach Googling American Girl doll care tips instead of sunbathing.

As the story goes, my baby niece sneaked in her American Girl doll on our trip. Her Jossie (real name: Joss Kendrick) has the cutest pink swimsuit and super cool sunglasses. The fact that she’s a sporty surfer girl qualified her as a beach buddy. 

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Or, so baby Kim thought when she took her in the water.

If you’re wondering if American Girl dolls can go in the water at the beach or pool, the answer to that question is yes and no.

American Girl dolls should not ever be submerged in water. However if they do get wet there are ways for you to make them as good as new again. 

I learned the hard way that American Girl dolls, even ones that love surfing, should NOT be submerged in water.

I repeat.

These dolls are not waterproof.

Nevertheless, if your tiny tot (or you) accidentally get one of your American Girl dolls wet, there’s still hope for recovery.  Your doll will need extra love and care to get through this minor accident, though.

To see the most popular American Girl dolls just click here. 

What to Do If Your American Girl Doll Gets Wet?

American Girl dolls are more delicate than regular dolls. AG manufacturers use softer materials to create lifelike dolls. They use soft vinyl with a matte finish instead of hard plastic to achieve this feat. 

That means your doll’s body consists of porous material that can absorb liquids (i.e., makeup, colored markers, ink, strong textile dyes).  

Prolonged exposure to water can be hazardous for your darling doll.  

It’s why you need to act quickly when your American Girl doll gets wet.

Here’s a tried and tested procedure to wash and dry her off as soon as possible:

Phase One: Strip And Wash The Doll

1. Strip off the doll’s clothes

Your number one priority lies in getting your American Girl doll dried off as soon as possible. You can do this by carefully pulling off her clothes and setting them aside.

2. Remove excess water

Shake off and squeeze out the water from your doll’s body. You might have to remove her limbs from the socket to drain out the extra water. Handle with care during the removal process to ensure that you don’t exert too much pressure on her vinyl body parts.

3. Fill the sink (or bath) with some fresh and clean water. 

You can add mild non-abrasive shampoo into the mix if your doll is dirty. 

4. Clean her face

Use a slightly damp wet cloth to do this.

5. Wash and dry

Cover your doll’s face with plastic or waterproof material before rinsing off superficial dirt, grime, and weeds out of her hair. Dry her off gently with a soft towel.

Phase Two: Sunbathing Your American Girl Doll

1. Spread a dry towel/cloth outside. 

This can be anywhere with natural light like the balcony, rooftop, or garden. Lay your American Girl doll on it.

2. Let your doll sunbathe. 

Keep her out for a few hours (minimum 5 hours) but be careful about placing her in direct sunlight. It will remove all traces of moisture and eliminate odors so that her stuffing doesn’t get matted.

3. Keep her covered

Harsh UV rays can distort her pretty facial features. You can cover her exposed limbs and head to prevent her vinyl skin from getting sun-bleached.

Phase Three: Washing American Girl Doll Clothes

1. Hand wash the dirty clothes

Fill the sink with clean lukewarm water for rinsing.

2. Drain the water before filling the sink again

Add mild shampoo (or soap) if required. Ensure that the soapy suds get rinsed out thoroughly by repeatedly rinsing the fabric.

3. Clean the shoes

If your doll was wearing shoes, scrub off dirt with a toothbrush. 

4. Drying time

After rinsing and washing your doll’s clothes and accessories, you can place everything in the sun to dry.  (Approximate time 2-3 hours).

Repeat phase three if your doll’s clothes appear musty and smelly.

Phase Four: Getting Your American Girl Doll Ready

After keeping your doll in the sun to dry, let her body temperature return to normal by keeping her in a cool, dry place. Next, gently brush and blow-dry her hair. 

Style it according to the official American Girl Doll Care and Styling tips.

If possible, dress her in a fresh pair of clothes.

Ta-da, your doll will look as good as new.

Bonus Tip:

Sometimes, taking the DIY route might create further challenges for you and your darling doll. Give the official American Girl Doll Care team a call if you see signs of severe wear and tear.  

The doll doctors know what to do if your American Girl doll gets wet.

How to Clean My American Girl Doll?

If you’re interested in creating a regular cleaning and washing schedule, monthly/yearly washing can be a good idea for your American Girl Doll. It all depends on how often you take your doll out and how dirty she gets during playtime.

Here are some general cleaning tips for American Girl dolls:

  • Use lukewarm water to dampen a soft (preferably microfiber) washcloth. Ensure that the water isn’t cold or scalding hot.
  • Wipe your doll’s face and limbs.
  • Make a baking soda paste by stirring two tablespoons of baking soda with lukewarm water. 
  • Close your doll’s eyes before lathering your doll’s face and vinyl body parts with the cleaning paste. Massage the areas gently in a circular motion to spread the mixture.
  • Wipe off residue with a dampened washcloth.
  • Rinse and repeat.
  • Dry your doll with a clean and dry towel.

Besides this, you can use a mild shampoo to wash her hair.  Cover the rest of her body with plastic or a waterproof sheet to limit water damage. According to the official site, your doll’s eyes can rust if continuously exposed to water.

Moreover, overexposure to moisture can harm your American Girl dolls in other ways. Their stuffing could become a breeding ground for mold and mildew if you aren’t careful.

It’s a Wrap!

The moral of the story is always to check your kiddos’ bags when you’re off to the beach or swimming pool. If it does happen, know what to do if their American Girl Doll gets wet. 

In most cases, basic hair care supplies and a little sunshine shall suffice.

If things take a turn for the worst, you can count on the doll doctors to make things right.

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